By G. Carramaschi
As the number of coronavirus cases rise in Brazil, many may be feeling extremely frustrated with having to be stuck at home. One of the fuels behind this frustration may be the feeling of helplessness and lack of control. Many at home may be feeling very anguished, and useless throughout this crisis, as though there were nothing they could do to help. But as time goes on, and the world has much more perspective on the entire issue, it becomes more and more clear that we must give in to the relentless calls to "stay at home", and that that could be the answer to the end of this crisis.
This, of course, only applies to those that can stay at home, which inevitably leaves out a great deal of people who have to continue to work. And a huge part of social distancing is for them: it is in order to protect those who cannot stay at home, the doctors and nurses at the front lines of this crisis, the cashiers and government officials who are essential to keep the world running, all of those who risk their lives and health for the greater good.
When any ordinary person leaves the comfort of their home unnecessarily, they are not only putting themselves at risk: this seemingly simple action can have devastating effects. This person might, unbeknownst to her, be carrying the virus herself and contaminate directly or indirectly the people who she comes into contact with. These new contaminated people might suffer from severe systems, which require them to go to the ICU, and strain our health system even more. They might in turn contaminate the doctors and nurses, again pushing our health care systems to their breaking point.
If you can't stay at home for yourself, stay at home for that friendly doctor who helped you when you were sick; for that supermarket cashier who always smiles at you; for that elderly neighbor you nod to at the elevator; for that friend who has asthma.
So, if you are feeling very small in comparison to this historical crisis, and feeling like there is not much that you can do about it, I urge you to realize that there is: you can stay at home. And little by little, if every single one of us, that are able to, stay home, we will become a part of a humongous humanitarian effort to end the COVID-19 crisis.